I am not really sure where the past 2 weeks have gone, it is all a blur of bandages, bridles, washing and sweeping – and of course a few rides added in!
Our training has been going really well, everyday a learning curve and a few light bulb moments have been had. There have even been a few firsts, all be it not always on purpose! Some counter canter, a flying change, a bit of a piaffe pirouette (won’t be winning the World Cup final but felt pretty good!). As well as good improvements on all the stuff we are supposed to be doing.
Another gorgeous spring day
I had a great free day with Hayley and we headed to Holland for the Excellent Dressage Sales auction at Academy Bartels. What an amazing facility and man to they know how to look after their guests. It was a very exciting way to buy a horse and I have to admit to sweaty palms and the heart racing when we were leading the bidding and the flipping auctioneer was trying to drag it out! The stunning Filithyo has since joined Hayley’s team of horses and looks to be a very talented prospect for the future.
It was a huge atmosphere for what were mostly very young horses (between 3-6 yrs old) but most handled it very well and were well presented. I also got to meet a few of the top riders attending, and I managed to keep my cool even though all I could think of was Imke Schellekens Bartels riding Sunrise at the World Cup Final in 2010 and the test made me cry every time as it was so lovely!
On Monday the team all went to support Bella and the lovely lusitano Goose compete at their first competition together. We arrived as it was raining and had to slog through a muddy paddock… only to find that there was a car park at the bottom of the hill on tarseal! I was a little dirty but the sun came out and the mud dried. We also supported Elina who is also stabled at Team HB headquarters, both girls rode well and show a lot of potential for the future.
|Training again at home
One thing that I found fascinating was that the show was dressage and show jumping over 2 days, side my side. Most of the dressage horses coped really well doing a level 4 or 5 test right next to 1.45m jumping! I am not sure what Mask would think of that but it is one way to make the horses spook proof!
Early tomorrow Bella, Don & I head to Moorsele for our first competition. I am nervous but also excited to be back in the arena. There is a pretty strong field, 13 riders in my class alone. Altogether there are 22 nations represented and 72 riders so it will sure to be a busy weekend. I am looking forward to also catching up with a few of the other riders and support that I have met over the past few years and also to see my good friend Zani, her husband Richard and to finally meet their wee girl Libby who just celebrated her first birthday! They are coming for the weekend which will be great.
I also can’t wait for Monday to see my good friend and sponsor Debbie Rolmanis from DB Muscle Therapy who will be joining us for a few weeks to work on riders and horses! Debbie will also very kindly be my support at Mannheim next weekend as Team HB are moving to new stables near Stuttgart so it will be all hands on deck getting things sorted out. The new facility looks really nice, and apparently there are a lot of castles in the area so I will get to see some more and learn some Bavarian history.
Better finish packing and get to bed, I’ll update again after the weekend!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JG0LlkrKJvc - a video of Don and I training